2005.06.11 – Novarock Festival, Nickelsdorf, Austria

Date: 11th June 2005
Event: Novarock Festival
Venue: Pannonia Fields
City: Nickelsdorf
Country: Austria
Support: see timetable

1. Wake Up Intro
2. Their Law
3. Wake Up Call
4. Warning
5. Breathe
6. Spitfire
7. Razor
8. Back 2 Skool
9. Firestarter
10. Action Radar Link
11. Mindfields
12. Dead Ken Beats
13. Poison
14. Method Beats
15. Smack My Bitch Up

Extra info:
23:30 The Prodigy
21:45 Nightwish
20:00 Soulfly
18:15 In Extremo
16:45 Reel Big Fish
15:30 The Dissociatives
14:25 The Hellacopters
13:15 Schandmaul
12:20 Exilia

Review by neko:
Vienna. I’ve got so much family history in this place that all it reminds me of is very old relatives, parents, viewing old buildings and going to musicals and the theatre. And very nice food of course. That’s all said in the nicest of ways, but the kind of last thing that fits into this world for me is a Prodigy gig! So, my sister and I spend Saturday having a bit a wander around time and making the most of this nice city.
Towards the evening then we head towards the festival, located quite a bit outside Vienna, pretty much in the out of nowhere. It’s been a while since I’ve been to a gig that was as far away from anything as this one. First we take a train (there’s one every two hours) for 50 min to Nickelsdorf, some random small village near the Hungarian border, and then there’s a shuttle bus for like 20 min across muddy fields to what turns out o be the fields where the festival is taking place already. With our 9pm arrival on site we’ve already missed the last train back to Vienna tonight, but there ‘might’ be one bus going back at 2am, but no one’s quite sure. Great!
Now we’re straight in metal land. Soulfly have just finished playing the main (and only) stage as we walk towards the festival and walking towards us are hundreds of longhaired, muddy people. Looks fun. Most people here seem to have been here for two and a half days already and having come straight from a nice restaurant in the city centre we don’t quite get into the whole vibe here yet, where people seem to enjoy the whole ‘pour beer over each other’ and ‘lets roll around in mud’ stuff. I guess either I’m too old, too boring or just not drunk enough. Well, at least they sell cocktails here.
Now, next band and last before Prodigy is on stage. Nightwish. I hear they’re quite big in the German speaking countries. I’ve never heard of them before though, but now I’m really sure I don’t ever want to again. They remind me of ‘Within Temptation’ at Pinkpop, with both being a very bad copy of Evanescene (yeah, it does get worse than them). It’s the woman singer plus four metal blokes formula, playing some kind of soft metal (i guess its supposed to be melodic). I’m not impressed, thanks god for the cocktails.
It’s all good fun though and as Nightwish leave the stage lots of the kids are leaving the front area as well, so there’s our way to sneak in. Ah nice! 11pm and just 30 or so minutes until Prodigy will be on. Considering it’s metal fest here, the place fills up really well now. Most people around seem to be keen to see Prodigy. I had had a bit of a look at the message board of the festival beforehand and most of the metal kids were less than impressed with a “Techno act” (their words not mine) headlining their treasured festival. Should be interesting.
The vibe is all good though, even when the stage for Prodigy is perfectly ready at their scheduled time at 23:30 and of course no sign of the band yet. I wish they’d be punctual just once though as the guy next to me wont shut up talking.
So then eventually the band come on….
Overall the gig is good. One major downfall though: the sound is really bad. I later read on the festival message board that this was a major point of negative feedback for the whole festival, so not just for Prodigy. It sounds like some of the frequencies are louder than they should be, some cannot be heard at all. So for example you can hear most of the higher frequencies of Kieron’s drums, i.e. the cymbals, very loudly, but then most of the Liam stuff, in particular the key beats to most tracks cannot be heard at all. While for some metal bands that may not have been such a problem, with Prodigy it of course is. Also, it’s not loud enough. And I am standing right in front of the speakers but wish they’d turn it up. Maybe just me being totally deaf by now though.
Razor works well tonight actually, but for example Dead Ken Beats, which I love to bits, is just totally lost tonight, you can’t hear any of the beats. It’s a bit a shame with the sound, as the band are actually really good tonight. When not on stage, you can be sure Keith is somewhere in the audience, balancing along the fence or walking through the crowd. Maxim’s great too, particularly Mindfields sounds great actually.
So the vibe overall is actually really good, I bet most people there did end up really enjoying the Prodigy, so I’m sure they’ve made some new fans! A quick look in the festival message board definitely proofs so, nice one!
All in all turns out to be a really good evening actually, despite my first impressions of the festival. Also we later get to see the band again, which is of course nice as ever.


Photos from the show:

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